Great Lakes Cooperative Center


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Cooperatives have long served an important role in U.S. agriculture and rural economic development and have become a driving force in the development of robust regional food systems. Retail grocery cooperatives were at the forefront of the local food movement and in recent years the cooperative model has been used in new and unique ways to revitalize and support local food economies.

The Great Lakes Cooperative Center (GLCC) is developing cooperative ventures in emerging local food systems that will provide agricultural producers and rural communities with greater opportunities to meet the growing demand for local food from retailers and institutions such as hospitals and schools.

GLCC offers technical assistance and counsel to existing cooperatives as well as groups pursuing cooperative business activities. Types of assistance available include organizational development, cooperative education, board training, strategic planning, and support during feasibility and business planning activities.

• On Wisconsin: Grocery store in Plain
  may get new lease on life as food co-op  DETAILS

• Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative aims to
  bring small growers to big markets  DETAILS

• Co-op Conversion Offers a Potential Solution
  to Grocery Store Loss    DETAILS


• Courtney Berner 608- 890-0966

Anne Reynolds, Faculty Associate & Assistant Director, UW Center for Cooperatives
Anne Reynolds is a Faculty Associate and Assistant Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. She teaches a course on cooperatives (AAE 323), and develops courses, conferences and educational programs at the Center. She has led numerous workshops on board leadership, board roles and responsibilities, and strategic planning.

Anne teaches a course on cooperatives, Agriculture & Applied Economics 323. The syllabus is here.

Anne is currently researching cooperative governance, behavior and performance, as part of the Center’s Cooperative Business Study. Her areas of interest include governance, member loyalty, business structure and innovative uses of the cooperative model. She has worked with cooperatives in all sectors, including agriculture, food, energy, purchasing and worker-owned. Anne serves on several boards, including The Cooperative Foundation. Before joining the Center for Cooperatives, she worked at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).


Lynn Pitman, Outreach Specialist
Lynn Pitman is an outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, providing resources and assistance to individuals and groups working on cooperative projects and issues. She writes and develops educational and communication materials to support the Center's outreach activities, including the Center's website, and has participated in Center research projects. Lynn has served on several cooperative boards, including a new grocery co-op, and is engaged in neighborhood development issues. Prior to joining the Center, she was the catalog marketing director at several growing entrepreneurial firms.


Courtney Berner, Outreach Specialist
Courtney Berner is an outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives where she provides various types of technical assistance and counsel to existing cooperatives and to groups interested in pursuing cooperative business activities. Courtney has policy, research, and outreach experience in a range of issues related to food systems, environmental sustainability, community economic development, and the cooperative business model. Prior to graduate school, she spent five years at the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental think tank in Washington, DC, where she worked in communications and development. She holds an M.S. in agroecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University where she majored in biology, French, and environmental studies. Courtney originally hails from Oregon but is proud to be living in America's Dairyland.


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